Cuomo has a cozy, big money relationship with a "con artist"
(BUFFALO, NY) - Carl Paladino, the Republican and Taxpayers candidate for Governor, today charged Andrew Cuomo with taking payoffs from notorious slumlord Andrew Farkas. In return, Cuomo allowed Farkas to avoid prosecution for kickbacks in HUD programs and permitted Farkas to go on milking taxpayer dollars while Cuomo was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
"When HUD official Cuomo first visited the Sierra Nevada Arms housing project managed by Farkas' company Insignia Financial Services, he called the conditions "horrendous," Paladino said. "It was later revealed that Insignia had paid $7.6 million in kickbacks to the pockets of the owners of several abysmal housing projects, using money that HUD had earmarked for maintenance of these projects - as Cuomo put it, providing "lives of luxury for con artists stealing from our programs."
Cuomo called the case against Farkas "the largest ever brought by HUD" and denounced "the abysmal conditions" that he said tenants were forced to live with in the "poorly maintained" projects then managed by Farkas.
Paladino said Cuomo's behavior raises serious questions. "When faced with this rampant corruption, why did Cuomo authorize an out-of-court settlement allowing Farkas to pay back $7.4 million - less than he stole? Why did Cuomo authorize a settlement in which Farkas didn't admit any wrongdoing or pay any penalties for stealing from taxpayers?" Paladino asked. "Why was Farkas' company not blacklisted by HUD, while others who participated in the kickback scam were barred from doing business with HUD?"
"More disturbing, why did Andrew Cuomo take $1.2 million from Farkas after leaving as HUD secretary?" asked Paladino. "Why has Andrew Cuomo accepted at least $800,000 in campaign contributions from a man he called a "con-artist?"
"By allowing slum lord Andrew Farkas to avoid prosecution, Cuomo's decision permitted Farkas' companies to sell their entire rental residential portfolio for $910 million. In 2003, after flaming out in his first run for governor, Andrew Cuomo "went to work" for Andrew Farkas, collecting more than $1.2 million in compensation, and even more in undisclosed payments for consulting to Abu Dhabi's version of Fannie Mae, helping them make their mortgage business Sharia Law-compliant, an arrangement set up by Farkas," Paladino said.
"How much was Andrew Cuomo paid for his alleged work in Dubai?" asked Paladino. "Why won't he answer the question?"
"In this campaign, Farkas has personally given $50,000 to Cuomo and currently serves as Cuomo's campaign Finance Chairman. Why would Andrew Cuomo have such a cozy relationship with a man he once said was "using HUD like a personal ATM?" asked Paladino. "There is a clear quid pro quo at play here, the worst kind of insider politics and exactly what we've come to expect from Andrew Cuomo."
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Carl Paladino, a successful Western New York real estate developer and attorney, is a Republican candidate for Governor of New York. He petitioned his way into the Republican Primary and canvassed to create a new Taxpayers ballot line. On September 14th, Paladino beat his Republican Primary opponent by a record 62 to 38 in one of the highest-turnout primaries in New York history.
For more information on where Carl Paladino stands on the issues, please visit www.PaladinoForThePeople.com